New Sponsorship for ESoP

Posted on Friday 3 June 2016

We are pleased to announce that Exploring a Sense of Place is now a project of the Children in Nature Collaborative, which is a project of Earth Island Institute, which is a 501(c)(3) organization. We continue with our work mentoring those designing their own ESoP programs all over the country and internationally. We also continue to make our guidebook available.  We have enjoyed the past six years of association with Acterra, and for a short time as we complete the transition, please order our guidebook on  We will soon again have it available to buy on our website. More later!

Joanna @ 7:16 pm
Filed under: Latest News
New opportunity for teachers!

Posted on Thursday 2 July 2015

We know that there are many teachers who have adapted the Exploring a Sense of Place program to enhance the experience of their students of any age. We are happy to announce that teachers anywhere can now earn professional development credits for a new “My Sense of Place Series,” offered online by Dominican University, in San Rafael CA!

As described in the latest catalog:

“This series will help you connect deeply with the nature of the place where you live, as well as to be able to provide an experience for your students. It is also an opportunity to rediscover the joy of learning as you familiarize yourself with your bioregion. It will require some research, as well as trips outdoors which can be as local as your school campus, city or regional parks.”


This is a wonderful opportunity for teachers to deepen their own relationship with the nature of their local bioregion,  and to develop a program to enrich the experience of their students. As a bonus, they get continuing education credits for it, too! Please spread the word!

Joanna @ 5:11 pm
Filed under: Latest News
New: “Explorers’ Forum”

Posted on Saturday 13 October 2012

We are pleased to announce we are adding a new Explorer’s Forum on our website, for the purpose of including the voices of people in any bioregion who want to share their experiences of   developing relationship to Nature in place. This could be observations of seasonal changes – what is happening where you are – or ways you have found to more deeply experience and learn from your own place. We invite you to send us an essay or just your observations that may be of interest to others.  To participate, please send your observations to, and we will publish them as space and relevance allow. We hope this will be a forum of shared ideas that will be of benefit to all of us in our explorations.

Joanna @ 11:24 pm
Filed under: Latest News
ESoP at Wisconsin Symposium – Postponed

Posted on Wednesday 25 July 2012

We are honored to have been invited to participate in The 2012 Niagara Escarpment Symposium, Cultivating a Sense of Place being held September 20 – 21, 2012 January 10th and 11th 2013 at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay! Karen Harwell will be a keynote speaker with a talk on “History and a Sense of Place.”  Please see their website for preliminary details, and we will report more later. This is being put on by group of dedicated people from the Niagara Escarpment Resource Network, who have decided to fold all of their efforts – education, economic development, resource protection, geotourism, etc. – under the umbrella of “sense of place.” We expect this to be an enriching and encouraging event.

Joanna @ 10:57 pm
Filed under: Latest News
Celebrating Earth Day 2012!

Posted on Sunday 22 April 2012

ESoP in the community

Today we will join other organizations at the Earth Day Peace and Social Justice Craft, Gift, and Info Fair in Palo Alto California. We will be there from 11:00 to 2:30 p.m.  (First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto, 1140 Cowper Street, Palo Alto.) If you are in the area, drop by and say hello. Our guidebook will be on display and for sale, and we will be sharing information on the importance – and joy! – of experiencing a Sense of Place.

Recently Exploring a Sense of Place also participated in Eco-Go Green Week/BioSITE Open House at the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose CA, and enjoying interacting with children and their families with the subject of water. The energy and enthusiasm was high, and we celebrated the wonders, beauty  and necessity of water, and of getting to know our own watershed.

Coming up:

Next week, April 28th, we will have a table at Spring in Guadalupe Gardens in San Jose, put on by the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy. Come and enjoy a beautiful Spring day in the gardens! Join in the resurgence of a Sense of Place!

Joanna @ 4:45 pm
Filed under: Archives
We are now a project of Acterra!

Posted on Thursday 1 July 2010

We are happy to announce that Exploring a Sense of Place becomes a fiscally sponsored project of Acterra on July 1, 2010. Our purpose remains the same as it has been for the last four years when we were a part of Conexions: Exploring a Sense of Place is a program designed to provide the means by which people anywhere on Earth can reconnect with the natural world where they live, assisted by our guidebook, leadership training workshops and local courses. The series of explorations foster familiarity with the local geology, weather and climate, wildlife and Earth wisdom of indigenous people.

Our current focus is to mentor individuals and groups through the use of our Exploring a Sense of Place guidebook to create their own process/program for exploring the place where they live. Our intention is to broadcast this possibility to new watersheds and landscapes by getting our guidebook into the hands of many more people who will use it to initiate their own process.

Watch for updates on this website!

Joanna @ 6:58 pm
Filed under: Latest News
Guidebook Available

Posted on Tuesday 23 March 2010

Exploring a Sense of Place, How to create your own local program for reconnecting with Nature is available! Order it today. This guidebook will help you with your own process of discovery and reconnection with the natural world where you live. This book will inspire you and give you all the practical tools you need to design, develop, organize, and produce an Exploring a Sense of Place program specific to your own bioregion. Click here to order yours. ORDER THE BOOK


Joanna @ 11:00 am
Filed under: Latest News
Restoration and Preservation

Posted on Thursday 18 February 2010

On Monday March 8 we will have two speakers. Paul Heiple will talk about “The Impacts of Land Use on the Arastradero Preserve and the Benefits of Good Land Use from the Beginning”. Franklin Olmsted will give us a brief account of volunteer restoration efforts by Friends of Foothills Park and California Native Plant Society at Foothills Park from 1996 to 2010.

Arastradero Preserve is a beautiful mixture of rolling savanna grassland and broad leaf evergreen forest. It varies in elevation from 275 feet in the northeast to 775 feet in the southwest. Wildlife abounds on the preserve and it is not uncommon to see deer, bobcats, coyotes, and many varieties of birds.

On Saturday morning we will join Paul for a habitat Restoration Day at the Pearson-Arastradero Preserve. We will, enjoy ourselves while breathing the fresh air and helping restore the lovely Pearson-Arastradero Preserve!

After lunch we will be joined by Franklin as we go for a walk though the Preserve. We should see serpentine soil, the Arastradero Lake, riparian areas, oak woodland and grasslands. We will see many native and non-native plants.

Joanna @ 12:21 pm
Filed under: Archives
Our Sense of Place in the Cosmos

Posted on Wednesday 20 January 2010

Come join us for a late afternoon gathering over warm cider and hors d’oeuvres inspired by the prose and poetry of three talented writers expressing the awesome story of our Universe in very different ways.

Featuring Drew Dellinger, Betty Kissilove and David Ergo

When: February 28th, 4pm-6pm

Cost: $30, $27 for Conexions members

Location:  At a beautiful sustainably designed home in Portola Valley overlooking the Bay Area – Address and directions to be provided upon registration

Space is limited!  To register, click here,
or contact Karen Harwell at (650) 938-9300 x15

Drew Dellinger is the founder of Poets for Global Justice. His collection of poems, love letter to the milky way has sold thousands of copies to eager readers all over the world. He has shared his work at gatherings and conferences; in classrooms and prisons; in women’s’ groups, mens’ groups, and spiritual communities.
In 1997 Dellinger received Common Boundary magazine’s national Green Dove Award.  Dellinger co-wrote the documentary film, “The Awakening Universe,” which premiered at the United Nations in 2005.  Dellinger has studied cosmology and ecological thought with Thomas Berry since 1990 and is finishing his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Dellinger lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Betty-Ann Kissilove has taught English as a Second Language at the City College of San Francisco since 1980.  She has been captivated and influenced by the Story of the Universe for over twenty years.  This interest, along with her history as a teacher, led her to write her epic poem, Great Ball of Fire!, a whimsical rendition of Earth’s 13.7 billion year story.

David Ergo was raised in Northern California, where at an early age he felt a deep disconnection between the western world and the damage being done to the natural world. No longer able to ignore the escalating ecological and social crises he first sensed as a child, he left his corporate training and flight instruction careers to pursue a path of learning and teaching about the need to face up to the ecological, social, and spiritual crises of the age. He is the author of the forthcoming book, The Holy Universe: A New Story of Creation, and Humanity’s Journey Through the Great Transition. He now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

admin @ 11:09 pm
Filed under: Archives
Migrations and Reflections

Posted on Tuesday 12 January 2010

On Monday February 8 our speaker is Naturalist Annette Coleman, who grew up in Palo Alto. After graduating, from UC Davis with a degree in Environmental Interpretation, Annette worked ten years as a Ranger at Foothills Park, and ten years as Area Superintendent for Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. She has also worked as a Naturalist for the City of Palo Alto, and now finds herself managing the Baylands Nature Interpretive Center, conducting weekend programs and organizing school field trips to Palo Alto Open Spaces. The title of Annette’s presentation tonight will be “We are in the Pacific Flyway”.

Then on Saturday, February 13 we will be at the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve, the largest tract of undisturbed marshland remaining in the San Francisco Bay. “The Baylands’, is considered to be one of the premier birding locations on the entire West Coast, providing a safe residence for the endangered California clapper rail, among a multitude of other birds. With such lush bird life, unique plant distribution (which includes interspersed cordgrass and pickleweed habitats) and various waterside settings, we will have the opportunity to develop our sense of place.

Baylands Naturalist, Annette Coleman will join us in the morning. We will be refining our observation skills, and learning about the Baylands as a resourceful migratory habitat. We will absorb the great expanse of this preserved marshland, while observing both migrant and residential birds interacting with their habitat. Tidal salt marshes, found in the Preserve, are known as the most productive biological zones on earth. This is frequently demonstrated in the Baylands, whether by a Snowy Egret poised in its foraging stance, or the sweeping bill of the Avocet, or the hovering American Kestrel ready to pounce.

In the afternoon we will be with Naturalist, Drew Harwell, for our Reflections segment of the day. Drew has a BA in Environmental Restoration from Prescott College and was trained in nature awareness at the Regenerative Design Institute. . Drew has worked with children, teens and adults for over 13 years. His style of mentoring is to help students explore nature through their individual passions and creativity. Drew will be assisting us in deepening our skills in sensing, seeing and reflecting. We will have time for a silent, solo walk along the Baylands to a lovely spot where we can sit for a while and ponder our sense of place, reflect, write, draw. Following some sharing we walk back to the Conexions Center.

Joanna @ 11:29 am
Filed under: Archives